1215 RE-- Sack of Khaldun
Date: Late Jan to 7 Feb, 1215
Outcome: Ghuls driven from the City and Library of Khaldun, Demeyen Bishak fate uncertain, renewed hostilities with Marrashi
Belligerents: Ghuls vs. Caliphate forces (Sand Spire, Demeyen Bishak, Marrashi, and Colonists of Marath Suvla)
Caliphate Commanders: Rahala Sevast of the Demeyen Bishak, Vekil Amal Abili, Berk Acar Acahan, various other colonists
Marrashi Commanders: Izu Al-Suzri
Ghul Commanders: Unknown; eventually, Ghul Rahala Sevast
Strength: Caliphate and Allies: 40-50 Colonists, around 300 Sandspire & Bishak, 50 Marrasshi
Casualties: Caliphate Forces still being calculated
(New PCs may feel take roles among the Sand Spire fighting in the city, or librarians and others evacuated from the library, upon request.)
In late January, after a long lull, a hitherto unprecedented horde of ghuls stormed the city and Library of Khaldun, throwing themselves against the fortifications established by the colonists of Marath Suvla earlier that winter, and the Demeyen Bishak and Marrashi fortifications also established at that time. These defenses held out for over a week; without them the situation would certainly have been completely hopeless. Nonetheless, by 7 February, the library had fallen to ghul invaders, while fighting continued throughout the city, mostly between ghuls, the Demeyen Bishak, and what remained of the Marrashi warriors, led by Izu Al-Suzri. At this point, word came to Rahala Sevast that many of the colonists of Marath Suvla had arrived in what could only be described as the nick of time, as she and the Returned Khadija al-Kaya had been hard-pressed in city fighting up til this point. The two of them fought their way to the Library to meet the colonists, taking refuge in a wooded area outside of the library, where two spirits in chains of glittering stone met them. After some discussion, the colonists stormed the library, attacking the ghuls inside and pushing them through the cramped halls, while a fire blazed in the northeast tower. Eventually, they purged the library both of ghuls, a horrifying skeletal creature of immense power, and of a capricious entity which had been trapped there, called the Ouroushav, who put out the fire in exchange for his freedom. In addition, by some esoteric means, nearly the whole force of the Sand Spire appeared in the area of Khaldun, having only been in Darende a few minutes before. They went into the city, where Marrashi under the command of Izu Al-Suzri were fighting ghuls and attempting to push them back west. Rahip Berk Acar Acahan was placed in charge of a large unit of Sand Spire; it is expected that he will achieve the rank of Vekil very soon. A Tharici named Kian Padrig also came to the aid of the people of the city, helping survivors to safe places, away from the worst of the fighting, and earning much honor thereby. However, while much was salvaged, the day was not without cost.
Several librarians who had taken refuge were rescued from the flames and the ghuls, but Rahala Sevast, along with the Celestial Elaine, was consumed by ghuls during the fighting. The ghuls that consumed them escaped alive, and the commander was lamed by the encounter, one of her legs badly shredded by what could only be the claws of an unnaturally large and savage ghul, or perhaps a great cat that got loose in the hallways. In addition to empowering the ghuls with information and ability, this meant that, after the Sand Spire and Marrashi finished clearing the ghuls out of the city, and Rahip Acar had rejoined the colonists at the library, there was no one to put out the flames of rancor and mistrust that arose between the Marrashi and the Emirate members of the Sand Spire-- including Vekil Amal Abili. The leader of the Marrashi, Izu Al-Suzri, who also might have diffused the tension, had been killed earlier, and his body not recovered. As a result, fighting broke out between them, resulting in the remaining Marrashi being chased out of the city and back towards Marash el-Dahaka; relations between the Marrashi and the Caliphate are waxing hostile again, following this turn of events.
In addition to this, Demeyen Bishak hideouts and supply caches all along the border have been reported ransacked, and the surprised Bishak members murdered and eaten. Commander Sevast has been ordered to Darende to answer for the situation, and the future of the Demeyen Bishak is in severe doubt. It is well known that the initial alliance Mezcaal Ortyah informally brokered, and Sevast formally upheld, with the Marrashi was hugely unpopular with many in the government and military - in particular, those from the former Emirate - so there is some likelihood that this incident will be used against her, and the Bishak in general.
While it is unknown how many priceless tomes and documents were lost or taken, many were evacuated while the ghuls laid siege to the city, and several more were recovered by the colonists of Marath Suvla, thanks in part to a contract barring salvage of scribed materials, as created by the scribes Valexxia Vargus and Khavar al-Qalam. The recovered texts are being assembled in Darende until repairs on the library are complete. Regardless, the colonists of Marath Suvla as a whole have earned the deepest gratitude of the Caliph, and the admiration of the survivors of Khaldun.